Gardening is a good pursuit for me. It makes my pragmatic, practical side very happy because I can grow food for my family and for my animals. The hard physical labor makes me happy because for some reason I do better with a healthy dose of work in my life. The ironic thing is that currently I’m experimenting with a way of eating that doesn’t involve copious amounts of stuff that I can grow in my garden, so the focus this year is much more relaxed and fun. The kids choose a lot of what we are growing and I’m not trying to maximize production of every square inch. Also I planted roses. The above pictures are of the same bloom, taken each day for three days. Sigh. I’m hooked.
But before I dive into the actual on purpose gardening endeavors, here are some exciting accidents that happened this year. We re-did our cow yard to exclude the place where the electric fence connects to the ground wire to hopefully avoid escape opportunities. That left a bit of yard under the oak tree cow free, and it is flourishing! Before it was rocky and very little grew, but now we have luscious grass two feet tall. Every morning I cut buckets full for the goats and the rabbits and they are in heaven and not even making a dent. Speaking of goats…in the above picture they are eating poison ivy. It grows everywhere on our property and my girls and I are currently getting over nasty encounters with this stupid plant. The good thing is that it’s not annoying to goats and they love to eat it.
I planted two cucumber plants and the girls have some in their gardens. That’s it. That means I won’t be pulling literally hundreds of pound of cucumbers out of the garden. Because I’m trying to learn balance! Also, we still have quarts and quarts of pickles from years past. This lettuce is doing well, and my bunnies are loving every last leaf.
Naomi loves flowers and she is helping me learn to appreciate them. Lavender is going to be her major cash crop this season and we are looking forward to using the flowers in soap this fall. In Las Vegas, I planted morning glories in our aquaponics garden at her request. Every bloom was oohed and ahhed over and we maybe got five flowers. Here they are invasive weeds that come in the most beautiful shades of purple, pink and blue and cover ditches along the roads. I’m letting this one grow up the pole of the car port next to her garden. I’ll probably leave a few to grow on my big garden fence because, like I said, I’m learning lessons about the importance of beauty.
Layna needed purple in her garden and I’m glad.
We are trying potatoes for the first time ever. When I needed an extra pot for the rose I was sent by mistake but got to keep when they sent the one I actually wanted, they came in packs of five. So we thought it would be fun for each kid to choose a variety of potato and we’d give them a go. I know you can grow them in 55 gallon barrels, but again, balance. We don’t need that many spuds. Layna’s variety is, naturally, purple.
There are so many simple pleasures I discover the longer we live here. These butterflies, and the black and blue ones that we have around this time of year are some of my favorites. At the end of the summer they will be gone and our huge black and yellow garden spiders will take the spotlight. We have cardinals on our front porch bird feeder, foxes that show up on our trail cam, and if we could just get some rain, the fireflies would come back. It’s magical.